Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Honeymoon

Costa Rica 

I studied abroad in Costa Rica as my last semester of college and started dating Ross right before I left for the semester, so essentially the first four months that we dated were long distance, and he never made it out to visit me (darn passports!). I knew that Ross needed to see Costa Rica to truly understand that part of me and my life, so we decided to honeymoon there so that he could experience what he had been hearing about over Skype - and to skype we owe that fact that we are still together!

Our honeymoon started on the beautiful pacific cost in Playa Hermosa. It was a peaceful, small and calm little cove in the province of Guanacaste. 

The sunsets were incredible - you just can't make this stuff up. 

My grandma arranged for us to use her timeshare for a condo at Villas Sol. The room was incredible - had a great view, though we didn't quite understand why there were rocks sprinkled all over our bed... 

And a view down to one of the pools. 

We spent time lying on the beach and swimming - the water was so warm!

You can definitely tell why they called this place Playa Hermosa - Beautiful Beach. 

I decided to play maracas with the evening entertainment

 (the all inclusive drinks might have had something to do with it!)

We also did some surfing, yet still haven't taken the underwater camera to get developed... one of these days we will. 

The second half of our honeymoon was spent in what might be my most favorite place on earth - Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal.

We stayed at the Volcan Arenal Observatory Lodge  - the only place in the national park you can stay and the closet you can get to this very active volcano! We slept a mere 1.7km away from the volcano! 

Our room was simple but set up so that you could lay in bed all night and watch the volcano erupt. 

And erupt it did! (TWSS) As we would attempt to sleep we would be woken up by the gurgling and popping of the volcano, and we would watch the red glow of the lava flowing down the side of the volcano. 

I think seeing an active volcano is something everyone should do in their lives - it is incredible. 

We also participated in a Costa Rica classic tourist adventure - zip lining through the rain forest canopy! 

You know why they call these canopy tours? Because once you put on the harness you can-not-pee!
 (It's funnier with a Tico accent, trust me!)

They also had a Tarzan swing - so much fun! Although we realized that we were essentially doing exactly what we did for work as camp counselors on our honeymoon... high ropes course, zip lines... 

We also decided to go on a tour with Pure Trek - Canyoning! (We also did a rafting tour with them as well, though I cannot find the pictures, it was hilarious that we ended up in a raft with a father/som from Lynden, WA and a couple from Kirkland, WA! Small world!)

Translation: rappelling down waterfalls! 

That's we rappelled down. It was a blast - if you are ever in the area I highly recommend it! 

And what would an active volcanic area be without hot springs?!?! 

We went to los Eco Termales Hot Springs which is a small and peaceful hot springs (as opposed to Baldi which is a party and the pools are lit up and surrounded by obnoxious techno music.) 

We LOVED Eco Termales, it was fun to swim in the pools, sit under the hot waterfalls, and listen to the distant rumble of the volcano amongst the cicadas. Admission included a traditional dinner which was served in simple earthenware pots and came with house wine. It was lovely. 

We also went hiking around the national park - check out the size of these leaves! 

We crossed a hanging bridge on a birding hike guided by some of the Lodge employees. We saw wild turkey vultures, parakeets, and a scarlet macaw! 

And hiked down to see the waterfall - I swear we are not photo-shopped into this shot! 

It was a great trip. We stopped by the town I lived in - Heredia -  for a short afternoon before we flew out and visited some friends. Ah, I love Costa Rica, and I would go back in a heartbeat. It's such a wonderful place, beautiful, relaxed, and as they say down there - 

¡Pura Vida!